Tom Goldman

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and NPR.org.

With a beat covering the entire world of professional sports, both in and outside of the United States, Goldman reporting covers the broad spectrum of athletics from the people to the business of athletics.

During his more than 20 years with NPR, Goldman has covered every major athletic competition including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, golf and tennis championships, and the Olympic Games.

His pieces are diverse and include both perspective and context. Goldman often explores people's motivations for doing what they do, whether it's solo sailing around the world or pursuing a gold medal. In his reporting, Goldman searches for the stories about the inspirational and relatable amateur and professional athletes.

Goldman contributed to NPR's 2009 Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and to a 2010 Murrow award for contribution to a series on high school football, "Friday Night Lives." Earlier in his career, Goldman's piece about Native American basketball players earned a 2004 Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award from the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University and a 2004 Unity Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

In January 1990, Goldman came to NPR to work as an associate producer for sports with Morning Edition. For the next seven years he reported, edited and produced stories and programs. In June 1997, he became NPR's first full time sports correspondent.

For five years before NPR, Goldman worked as a news reporter and then news director in local public radio. In 1984, he spent a year living on an Israeli kibbutz. Two years prior he took his first professional job in radio in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Alaska Public Radio Network.

The NFL season is in high gear — a fact that pleases the roughly 64 percent of Americans who watch football. The season rolls on despite the now constant news about concussions in the sport.

The recent TV documentary League of Denial and the book by the same name claim that for years the NFL had denied and covered up evidence linking football and brain damage. Is the concussion conversation challenging this country's deep love for the game?

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A dark cloud hanging over the National Football League is a bit lighter today. There is a proposed settlement in a huge concussion lawsuit, brought by over 4,000 former players. The agreement was reached and announced yesterday, a week before the start of the new NFL season. If approved, the league will pay out $765 million to as many as 18,000 former players. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

There's concern the sport of swimming still may be dealing with a sexual abuse problem in the United States.

It's been three years since revelations emerged in the media. A number of in-depth reports in 2010 likened the situation in swimming to the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal: Coaches molesting under-age female swimmers; some of the abuse continuing for years without punishment.

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The sport of swimming is back in the news, with new questions being raised about whether swimming has effectively confronted a sexual abuse problem, a problem that's been revealed in recent years. USA Swimming - the sport's governing body in this country - announced an independent review of Safe Sport, their organization's program to protect athletes from sexual abuse. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: In the spring of 2010, swimming's secrets emerged in a flurry of media reports.

At the beginning of 2013 — with only a year before soccer's crown jewel event, the World Cup in Brazil — all was not rosy with the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team. There was that 0-0 tie with Canada, and then a 2-1 loss to Honduras in a World Cup qualifier.

But now, the cry is, "Break up the Americans!"

As athletes age, participation in team sports seems to fall by the wayside in favor of more low-impact activities like swimming and walking. But that's not for everyone. The National Senior Games finishes a two-week run in Cleveland on Thursday. The players for She-Ca-Go, a women's basketball team in the 75-to-79 age division, are still in it for the camaraderie and competition.

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In baseball, the summer of Yasiel Puig goes on. The breakout star for the Los Angeles Dodgers is a mere five weeks into his major league career. And in that short time he is set hitting records and also helping turn around a struggling Dodgers team. Puig is a 22-year-old Cuban defector. His past remains a bit of a mystery, but that doesn't seem to bother the fans caught up in Puig-mania.

Here's NPR's Tom Goldman.

Tonight, there's a chance for a rare double in NCAA Division I college basketball.

As we reported earlier, if the University of Louisville scores a victory in the women's championship game, it will be only the second school to capture both the men's and women's titles in the same year.

A women's Final Four without Baylor, Stanford or Tennessee? That's happened only one other time in the last dozen years. We've become so used to it being a power party, that it's downright disorienting.

Or maybe that's just vertigo from trying to track the movements of the Final Four's breakout star, Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel. She's a big reason why two of those teams — Tennessee and Baylor — aren't in New Orleans for a chance at the title.

San Jose, Calif., is just a piece of a very big March Madness pie. But in the eight teams that gathered there for second- and third-round games this week, you could see the undeniable trend in big-time college basketball globalization.

Rosters from schools as geographically diverse as Syracuse, New Mexico State and California featured athletes from Senegal, France, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Sudan.

But it's the University of Oregon with a groundbreaker — from Iran.

NPR's Tom Goldman is covering the World Baseball Classic tournament and sends along this report:

There are more troubles for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

A Texas-based promotions company sued the former cycling champion Thursday for more than $12 million, which was paid to Armstrong for several of his record seven Tour de France wins. Armstrong publicly admitted last month that those herculean victories were aided by doping.

The lawsuit is part of a flurry of activity: Armstrong still is in talks with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and there is now word that he is under federal investigation, a year after another federal criminal inquiry ended abruptly.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep. The good news for Notre Dame fans is that they should be well rested this morning. They had no reason to stay up late last night. Alabama took the fight out of the Irish, 42-14, defeating the previously undefeated team and winning the BCS championship. NPR's Tom Goldman was at the game in Miami.

In 1984, the Portland Trail Blazers chose Sam Bowie, a 7-foot-1 center from the University of Kentucky, with the second pick in the college draft. The Chicago Bulls then took Michael Jordan.

The words "Bowie over Jordan" are part of pro basketball lore, and are still a source of pain for many fans of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. Bowie's tenure in Portland was marred by leg injuries; Jordan became a legend. ESPN recounts it all in a documentary about Bowie on Thursday night.

The story of Lance Armstrong's alleged doping is, in part, the story of an astonishing business enterprise — an enterprise that drove what the U.S. anti-doping agency called "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program" cycling has ever seen.

The story of that enterprise starts in 1998, when the Festina cycling team was caught at the Tour de France with a car full of banned drugs. According to author Daniel Coyle, this marked a huge shift in the culture of doping in cycling.

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Lance Armstrong became a bicycle racing legend when he won every Tour de France from 1999 to 2005. But after what happened today, there will be no official record of all those victories. Cycling's international governing body announced it will not appeal sanctions by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

It's Monday after another football weekend in America. From the Friday night drama on high school fields to the multibillion-dollar juggernaut NFL, the game seems as popular as ever.

But in fact, amid the cheering, there's concern — a growing anxiety about head injuries in the sport, from the NFL all the way down to the pee-wee leagues. Some say kids shouldn't be playing until their teenage years. High-profile NFL players have gone on record saying they don't want their children playing at all because of the concussion risk.

The London Summer Olympics are winding down, and by most accounts, the games have been a success. There were plenty of "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" moments; big, enthusiastic crowds — although there were too many blocks of empty seats; and for those who like a helping of scandal served up at their Olympics, there was that, too.

It wasn't the usual scourge of doping. Instead, the London Olympics had incidents of bending the rules and ethics of sport.

Allyson Felix has won the women's 200 meter race in London's Olympic Stadium, running a time of 21.88. Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the silver medal at 22.09, as she wasn't able to track Felix down in the closing stretch.

The four center lanes were stacked with speed, with Jamaica's Fraser-Pryce and defending gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown in lanes 4 and 5, respectively. Just outside of them were Americans Sanya Richards-Ross and Felix, in lanes 6 and 7. And on the outside, in lane 9, was Carmelita Jeter.

American judo athlete Nick Delpopolo has been disqualified from the London 2012 Games after failing a drug test, according to the International Olympic Committee. The 23-year-old Delpopolo tested positive for the substance THC, found in marijuana.

Delpopolo finished seventh in the 73 kg — or 160.5 pound — judo event. After the competition, his urine sample showed the presence of THC, a prohibited substance in Olympic sport.

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Usain Bolt remains the world's fastest man. Last night at the London Summer Games, the Jamaican superstar successfully defended his Olympic 100-meter title. Bolt ran his second-fastest time ever, an Olympic record - 9.63 seconds. He joins American Carl Lewis as the only other man to win consecutive Olympic 100s. NPR's Tom Goldman is in London.

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There is still a week to go at the Olympics, but it's a good bet that after all the drama ends, Britons will look back on last night as the moment the Games turned in their favor - maybe not in the overall medal count but the host country got a huge psychological lift as Team Great Britain snagged three track and field gold medals on the Games' biggest stage. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

The opening weekend of the Summer Olympics was marked by highs and lows, of course, and the swimming pool had its share of both. World records, a stunning loss and a medal for the home team — and that was all in just one afternoon.

Before American Dana Vollmer answers how a 55.98-second 100-meter butterfly — the fastest time ever, and worth a gold medal — feels, consider this: Vollmer was diagnosed as a teenager with two life-threatening heart conditions that prompted her mom to carry a defibrillator to Dana's races.

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today with the opening ceremony. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire has put together the latest Olympic kickoff spectacle. As NPR's Philip Reeves reported yesterday, a preview video has been released.

Y'know your local mall? The one you drive to whenever, or just as easily drive past? What would happen if you didn't have a choice — if you couldn't avoid going there? Would you walk right through without stopping and shopping? Or, a darker question: What if you could never get out?

Welcome to my Olympic nightmare.

It didn't take long for politics to enter the fray of Olympic sports. On Day One of preliminary competition, members of the North Korean women's soccer team staged a short protest after a mix-up with their national flag.

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And I'm Renée Montagne. The damning report on Penn State by former FBI director Louis Freeh confirmed, last week, what many said all along - the scandal is the biggest and most damaging in the history of college sports. Of course, child sexual abuse and a cover-up go way beyond the infractions commonly punished by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

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College football fans are belting out a one word chant this morning: Finally. As in finally, there's a post-season playoff at the sport's highest level. Yesterday, a committee of college presidents approved a four-team, three game plan. When it starts in 2014, it'll end major college football's isolation as the only big time team sport that does not decide its championship with a playoff. NPR's Tom Goldman has more.

Title IX, which turns 40 on Saturday, has helped reverse years of bias, banning sex discrimination in federally funded schools and colleges.

Its guarantee of equal access to sports was a small part of the original legislation. But it's become the most recognizable part of Title IX. That guarantee has not always played out, and the law has its critics. For four decades, however, it's played a huge part in shaping lives.

'I Can Handle This World'

The Miami Heat are the new NBA champions. Thursday night in Miami, they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5, 121 to 106. LeBron James had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.

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